Spanish crime thriller “the body”: living corpses

A car accident, a heart attack and the theory of apparent death: Oriol Paulo’s "The Body" is a thriller in the best Hitchcock tradition.

On the brink of death: widower alex (r., Hugo Silva) loses his wife Mayka Villaverde (Belen Rueda) Photo: OFDb Filmworks

Someone is terrified. He rushes through the night, gets under a car. He survives the accident, but falls into a coma. Inspector Jaime Pena (Jose Coronado) soon becomes interested in this patient. For the unlucky man was a night watchman at the morgue – and had left it in a panic. Pena was called in to solve the disappearance of a female corpse. What did the guard see?

Pena is not the man to believe in supernatural phenomena. He informs the widower alex Ulloa (Hugo Silva), who is almost melted with grief. His dearly beloved wife Mayka Villaverde (Belen Rueda), whose body is missing, had succumbed to a heart attack after an intercontinental flight.

The autopsy has not yet taken place, which arouses Pena’s suspicions. The forensic pathologist considers catalepsy – a neurologically induced apparent death. However, this can also be artificially induced. alex becomes increasingly suspicious that this is exactly what happened here. That the supposedly dead Mayka is pursuing a perfidious plan. Inspector Pena finds out that alex has a mistress and that his marriage to Mayka had broken up – he brings the bereaved to the morgue.

There, disturbing things happen to alex. In the toilet he finds an invitation card that was intended for Mayka and him, on which is handwritten the saying "When I close my eyes, you’ll still be with me". His lover Carla Miller (Aura Garrido) had carelessly sent it to him by text message. Not the only event that makes alex increasingly doubt his sanity.

Spain 2012, thriller, Sept. 14, 10:20 p.m. on Tele5.

Spanish director Oriol Paulo, co-author with Lara Sendim of this twisty thriller, has studied his Hitchcock, even quoting him at one point in an adopted famous shot. Paulo takes Hitchcock’s theory of suspense to heart, revealing the perpetrator to the viewer early on, only to have him constantly unsettle him anew – flashbacks provide different interpretations of the events.

To create suspense, Paulo only needs the blink of an eye at the right moment, a technical defect with a retarding function, and above all the playing out of psychological stress. At the end, the story has an unexpected resolution. You can’t be too strict about plausibility. But then, Hitchcock wasn’t allowed to do that either.

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